Here’s something you don’t ever hear in the same sentence: Cartier and Walmart.
And Cartier is determined to keep it that way.
The two companies ended up in the news when a story was reported that one of Walmart’s vendors, Jewelry Unlimited, was selling an $18,000 Cartier diamond watch on Walmart.com.
The story was picked up because of its strangeness. Cartier on Walmart.com? The company quickly fired back with a press release of its own, which said:
“Wal-Mart is not a Cartier authorized retailer therefore Cartier has no knowledge or involvement in the selling or marketing of this watch nor can confirm the authenticity of the piece. Because Cartier has built its reputation on providing high quality merchandise to the consumer, it attempts to control its product from creation through the retail channels. It does so by selling its products exclusively through its own boutiques and its own hand-selected retail partners worldwide. Despite these efforts, due to currency fluctuations and other marketplace pressures, Cartier products can be found at unauthorized retail outlets including online and brick and mortar stores.
“Over the years, because of its concern over the quality of Cartier products distributed outside of its authorized trade channels, Cartier has continually monitored the unauthorized marketplace and discovered that unauthorized dealers try to cover up the fact that they sell products that are often used, sometimes faulty, occasionally counterfeit, and never warrantied by Cartier. All of this behavior is done at the expense of unknowing consumers, who are being sold on the false idea that they are getting the exact same product for less. Cartier has filed several lawsuits on this basis as well that are a matter of public record.